In an effort to maintain whatever vestiges of revenues and Schutz und Schirm that they could, the central administration began to look for alternate means of determining the extent of death and destruction.
The problem of death and destruction no longer entailed trying to convince an external audience, but instead trying to make sense of it to himself, or to posterity.
His rhetoric of death and destruction had to serve a different purpose--to offer hope and give the suffering a meaning that could be cathartic.
The reference to "peace" in Thessalonians redirects our attention to how the genres of death and destruction narratives shifted towards the end of the war.
The shared experience of the rhetoric of death and destruction contributed to the contemporary understanding of the chronological contours of the war, from the outbreak in Bohemia in 1618 to the end in Westphalia in 1648.
The rhetoric of death and destruction in the Thirty Years War which found its culminating genre in the exultant descriptions of peace in 1649 and 1650 drew on rhetorical strategies that preceded the war.
It is what elevates the rhetoric of death and destruction during the war above the more traditional rhetoric of supplication.
Gerhard Benecke, "The Problem of Death and Destruction in the Thirty Years War: New Evidence from the Middle Weser Front," European Studies Review 2 (1972): 250.
208-215, takes the descriptions of death and destruction more seriously without directly addressing the question of their reliability.